Muslim scholars end ban on visiting Al Aqsa Mosque under occupation

AMMAN — Muslim scholars and intellectuals from various Islamic countries and schools of jurisprudence have reached a consensus on a fatwa (religious edict) to end a ban of Muslim visits to Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem while under Israeli occupation.

The fatwa was announced during the three-day “Road to Jerusalem” conference which concluded in Amman Wednesday, according to a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

The proposed modifications to the ban specifically apply to Palestinians, regardless of current nationality or location and    Muslims with passports from countries outside the Muslim world.

The agreement has left the door open for the “ijtihad” (conjectural interpretations of divine law) of Islamic scholars regarding the right of Muslims around the world to visit Al Aqsa, the third holiest site for Muslims.

The mosque risks falling prey to the Judaisation of Jerusalem, participants in the event said.

“There are currently plans by the Israeli government to divide Al Aqsa or to demolish it and an influx of Muslim pilgrims lends support to the concerns of Jerusalemite Palestinians,” the scholars stated.

Following is the full text of the edict:

 

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Glory be to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Aqsa Mosque; the environs of which We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs. Indeed He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Al-Isra’, 17:1)

Thanks be to God, Lord of the Worlds, and peace and prayers be upon the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers.

The Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim affirm that Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet PBUH said: “Do not set out on a pilgrimage except for three mosques: Al Masjid Al Haram, the Mosque of God’s Apostle and the Mosque of Al Aqsa.” Scholars agree that this affirms the importance of visiting the Blessed Aqsa Mosque and the presumption of its continuity.

 Regarding visiting the Blessed Aqsa Mosque under occupation:

First: The scholars participating in the Road to Jerusalem Conference see that there is no difficulty in religion (La Haraj) for the following segments to visit the Blessed Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem:

1. Palestinians wherever they may be, in or out of Palestine and regardless of their nationalities.

2. Muslims with passports from countries outside the Muslim World.

Second: In all cases, the following conditions must be observed:

1. That it does not lead to normalisation with the occupation, which may cause harm to the Palestinian cause.

2. That the visit supports and assists Palestinians and not the occupiers; and here we affirm that any transactions including buying, selling, dealings, accommodations and transportation undertaken must benefit the Palestinians and the Jerusalemites and none other than them.

3. That visitors enter with Palestinian or Jordanian tourist groups and stay clear of programmes run by the occupier.

4. It is preferred that trips to Al Aqsa be within the routes of umra and Hajj trips as much as possible and in an effective and collective manner that achieves the significant religious benefit of this; and in a manner that supports the Palestinian economy and particularly, the economy of Jerusalem; and politically with the aim of protecting Al Aqsa and the religious antiquities.

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